Inbound Marketing Takes Hold
Having just returned from HubSpot’s #Inbound12 conference in Boston, participants, most of whom are inbound marketing HubSpot partners, like us (PLS Launch Solutions), HubSpot customers, and marketers – I learned of companies in a broad range of industries (B2B & B2C) having success generating sales through inbound marketing while leveraging HubSpot. I also learned that traditional marketing continues to play an important role – more focused – more integrated, on- and off-line. The bottom line is our clients need to be where their customers are – and that’s more on-line.
“Buyers chart their own journey and it includes social and digital channels.” On average, a buyer will consume 3 pieces of information sourced on-line before they engage directly.
From Inbound2012: Forrester Research – Use Lead Nurturing To Grow Revenue
What's in the Client's Best Interest?
Take most of our clients for example. From an optics manufacturer to a high tech engineering services company; they operate in a global marketplace. To these companies and others like them, the trade show is a critical multi-purpose event: offering face to face – with customers, distribution partners, and prospects. It offers strategic business development opportunities often accelerated when face to face. We embrace their reality and seek to help customers perform the trade show activities that help drive success, at the show and longer term.
We recommend striving for a marketing mix that includes both traditional and inbound marketing. We may not talk about it in that exact language. But as a general practice, we recommend allocating more focus and budget on strengthening their online engagement.
If Content is King, Then Context is God
Keynoter Gary Vynerchuck @garyvee reiterated the need for personalized context to truly create exceptional on-line experiences. If you weave the structure of Gary V and Rand Fishkin's Keynotes, you come away with a sassier (Gary) but thoughtfully nerdy (Rand) perspective of what makes exceptional content – what makes exceptional engagement.
With high quality content at the center of inbound marketing, we begin new client engagements developing a marketing roadmap. A core component is the content strategy. For highly technical industries and topics, content sourcing can become a bottle neck. Knowing this allows us to build a content development strategy with maximum leverage and reuse of scarce resources. Patents, trademarks, speaking engagements, customer success stories, and technology briefs provide high value fodder for repurposing into blog articles and other technical resources used to nurture and qualify leads – for on-line and off-line uses.
Your content strategy matters because consider these stats from Forrester Research:
- Complex B2B sales involve 5 to 7 prospective customer contacts throughout the buying cycle.
- 50% of B2B buyers require 6 or more touches to BECOME a qualified sales lead.
- It takes 3 to 6 months to nurture a lead to a qualified sales lead status.
If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?
Let me turn around this famous quote from Vince Lombardi - to reflect a more common than not reality with many businesses:
If you’re not keeping score, are you in it to win?
None of this will matter if you don’t have great visibility and analytics to demonstrate marketing ROI. And that’s where HubSpot comes in. We chose to become a Certified HubSpot Partner because they offer the best in breed all-in-one marketing automation solution that demonstrates what’s working and what’s not. Its integration with popular CRMs including Salesforce, creates a robust lead tracking, nurturing, and scoring solution.
New tools in the just announced HubSpot3 will make it easier to personalize the content necessary to build valuable and sustaining customer engagements. More on HubSpot3 in another post.